COUNCILLORS will be asked if they are prepared to take a five per cent cut in their annual allowance at a meeting this week.

Coun Peter Mallinson (Con, Walcot), cabinet member for health and adult social care, is putting forward the motion at a council meeting on Thursday.

He said he did not feel he could ask his own department to make savings of £6m this year without doing something himself.

“My personal point of view is that as lead member for health and adult social care, I am asking everybody to save to make sure adult social care comes in on budget this year,” he said.

“Now it would be totally hypocritical if I was to go home at the end of the day and take home the full allowance that I’m given for the year. I think I’ve got a duty to show that I’m also willing to work smarter, do things differently and share some of that pain that everybody else has got to put up with.”

Councillors last year were paid a basic allowance of £7,790.45 and those with special responsibilities such as cabinet or shadow cabinet positions were given an extra allowance of between £150 and £19,622.

A five per cent reduction would mean a cut of £389.52 on the basic allowance and another £981.11 off the largest special responsibility allowance.

Coun Mallinson added: “For backbenchers it will amount to about £1 a day before tax and for frontbenchers it will not be more than £2 a day.

“It’s not the same as losing your job by any means, nevertheless if we did nothing I wouldn’t feel happy sat there going through the books and not being prepared to do anything myself.”

The Liberal Democrats welcomed the idea but questioned why it was not done earlier.

Coun Dave Wood (Eastcott), deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “Last year the Lib Dems proposed earlier and harsher cuts on councillors’ allowances, but these were met with scorn by the Tories. This is rather late and does not got far enough, but it is better than nothing.”

Labour said they were meeting last night to discuss whether to argue for an even greater reduction of 10 per cent in allowances.

Coun Derique Montaut (Central) said: “It is disappointing that Swindon’s Conservative councillors haven’t gone to ourselves and the Liberal Democrats in order to get cross-party support. I think councillors shouldn’t be immune from the massive cuts that are being imposed on Swindon Council.”